To defend "freedom", or to defend "hegemony"?

15:28, January 26, 2010      

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For two weeks or so, U.S. media have gone all out to "promote" the "Google issue" and American politicians repeated great "noises" in accusation of China's internet management policies and insinuate the nation's restriction on "internet freedom". They have been simply concocted or patched up the so-called the theory that Chinese government has been involved in cyber hacking.

These words and deeds, which have taken no heed of reality, are definitely aimed to impair or tarnish China's image and interfere with the healthy and smooth development of Sino-U.S. relations.

The "Google case" is a politicized business issue in the final analysis. Google senior vice-president, David Drummond, said on January 13 in the official blog that "Google might have to pull all of its operations out of China." As for the reason, Google said it suffered a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our cooperation… Tensions between Google and the Chinese government began soon … The (Chinese government) has attempted over the past years to further limit free speech on the Web…"

On the Google retreat, is it really attributed to the so-called "cyber-attack" and "internet censorship"? Even U.S. internet security experts have acknowledged that Google entered China in 2006 after meticulous, prudent consideration of the decision. At present, Google search engine in China account merely for 35 percent market share, far behind Baidu, China's largest search engine; Google's annual income from the country constitutes only less than 2 percent of its total global income.

Some of China's internet industry insiders maintain that Google has been looking for an excuse for its failure due to its "inability to adapt" and loss to Chinese domestic firms.

It is not difficult, however, to see the shadow of the US government behind the highly politicized "Google" case. Shortly after Google threatened to quit, Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton issued a statement and chastised China on its censorship in her January 21 address in Washington on Internet freedom and pressured the Chinese government for "an explanation". And she referred in her address to the promotion of internet freedom as the U.S. diplomatic strategy for the 21st century.

In her accusation of China and other countries' hastened monitoring of the internet, Mrs. Clinton also announced that the United States would work with business community, academic experts and non-government organization to capitalize on the internet technology, or the power of connection technologies and applied them to U.S. "diplomatic goals".

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton urges the U.S. media giant to take proactive measures while disclosing that the State Department will call a meeting of the Internet firm next month to discuss the internet freedom. So, the Internet Corporation has apparently become a "political pawn" of the U.S. government. Nevertheless, there remains an issue of reluctance on the part of the Internet corporation, consciously or unconsciously.

Some U.S. political figures would defend in a high-profile manner the "internet freedom" as the "diplomatic strategy," whose goal is to meddle in other nations' affairs on the one hand and to consolidate American hegemony in cyberspace on the other hand.

The United States is expected to take the Internet for the "core of its national security and economic prosperity". It has been subjected to the firm U.S. control ever since the Web came into existence since the early 1990s. At the heart of the Internet are currently 13 root servers, named A ROOT-SERVERS, and the Netnod, or the principal one of them, in is in the United States, and nine of the 12 auxiliary root server operators are also located in the country.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN) is, with the authorization of the US administration, to manage all root servers in a uniform way and hold accountable for the global internet domain name root severs, domain name system and IP addresses management. Consequently, counties around the world, the United Nations and other global organizations have once required the United States to ease or relegate its authority but have met with its opposition and been flatly rejected..

As a matter of fact, the U.S.'s international conduct is determined by its "imperial mindset", as the "United Morning News", Singapore's leading newspaper and a major Chinese morning daily, said in a recent commentary that one of its salient features is to direct other nations' policies so as to maximize its own interests.

Around the "Google" incident, the United States has not only focused on the commercial interest of domestic companies and safeguard its own national security and interests rights, but also is trying hard to limit China's cyberspace. This is something totally unacceptable.

To date, Google executives have expressed the hope to go on negotiating with the Chinese government and continue to stay in China, and Google has perhaps come to realize that China could do without it, whereas Google will definitely have no future without China.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD reporter Zhong Sheng
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